patella

noun

pa·​tel·​la pə-ˈte-lə How to pronounce patella (audio)
plural patellae pə-ˈte-(ˌ)lē How to pronounce patella (audio) -ˌlī How to pronounce patella (audio) or patellas
: a thick flat triangular movable bone that forms the anterior point of the knee and protects the front of the joint : kneecap
… the quadriceps are attached at the anterior and anterior lateral aspect of the patella and are extensors of the knee joint.John B. Rizzotto
… a few horses suffer from a slipping of the patella—the little bone on the front of the stifle that is similar to the human kneecap—locking the joint so that it cannot flex properly.Heather Smith Thomas
The human knee is specialized for walking upright too: to compensate for the thighbone's being at an angle, there's a lump, or groove, at the end of the femur that prevents the patella from sliding off the joint.Michael D. Lemonick and Andrea Dorfman
patellar adjective

Examples of patella in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Center fielder Brenton Doyle was a late scratch from the starting lineup for Saturday night’s game because of what the Rockies called a left patella tendinitis. Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post, 15 June 2024 Then, last year, in a preseason game against the Chiefs, Grant suffered a broken patella and again was out for the entire season. Antwan Staley, New York Daily News, 11 June 2024 Fun fact: Underneath your kneecap lives a lot of cartilage and a surface where your patella (kneecap) and femur (thigh bone) meet, Dr. Haas explains. Jenny McCoy, SELF, 9 May 2024 Star guard Paige Bueckers also missed the entire 2022-23 season with a torn ACL, as did redshirt freshman Ice Brady after dislocating her patella. Dom Amore, Hartford Courant, 10 Jan. 2024 See all Example Sentences for patella 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'patella.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Latin, from diminutive of patina shallow dish

First Known Use

1634, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of patella was in 1634

Dictionary Entries Near patella

Cite this Entry

“Patella.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/patella. Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

patella

noun
pa·​tel·​la pə-ˈtel-ə How to pronounce patella (audio)
plural patellae -ˈtel-ē How to pronounce patella (audio)
-ˌī
or patellas

Medical Definition

patella

noun
pa·​tel·​la pə-ˈtel-ə How to pronounce patella (audio)
plural patellae -ˈtel-(ˌ)ē How to pronounce patella (audio) -ˌī How to pronounce patella (audio) or patellas
: a thick flat triangular movable bone that forms the anterior point of the knee, protects the front of the joint, increases the leverage of the quadriceps, and is usually regarded as a sesamoid bone since it is developed in the tendon of the quadriceps and in structure is similar to other sesamoid bones

called also kneecap, kneepan

patellar adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on patella

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